Reasons NOT to be author

Published 01/07/2012 by Lily Crussell

I read one of those ‘You know you’re an author when…’ lists earlier which cracked me up, but I was thinking about all the reasons I’ve had to quit, give up and abandon being an author, so I have compiled them here. Please feel free to add your own in the comments section. I figure if you’re still wanting to be an author once you’ve read this, then you’ve got the right attitude and determination!

1. You make NO money.

Example; I’ve had over 1150 downloads of my ebook in the last six weeks. I’ve made $19.20. I’ve spent over £200 in the last WEEK alone on postage, paper, ink, laminating sheets etc etc ad infinitum

2. No one wants to read your work.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve written the next Harry Potter. No one cares! Agents don’t want to know, publishers don’t want to know. The industry is in such a flux at the moment that self publishing seems to be the way to go.

3.If anyone DOES want to read your work, they don’t want to pay for it.

See above about the royalties. 90% of my downloads have been when it was free. I can understand that, we’re all poor, but no less work went into my book than into a best seller, it’s just that they have the power of a publishing house behind them.

4. There’s no such thing as just an author anymore.

I am an author, editor, pr, advertiser etc etc.

5.You suck.

Be ready for a drawer FULL of rejections, most of which are from people who haven’t even read your work.

6.You won’t get an agent/publisher unless your query is perfect.

It doesn’t matter about the standard of your work if the query letter is spelt wrong, not laid out properly etc. They are looking for any excuse to not have to read yet another item from the slush pile.

7.You won’t actually get much time to write.

I spend very little time writing anymore. It’s all promotion! The book has been on the Kindle since Dec. I had intended to get to work on the follow up, but am spending so much time on promotion and giveaways, I’m struggling to get to it.

8. No one will understand.

Your family, your loved ones…none of them will have a clue. You’ll want to lock yourself away and write, but they’ll be knocking on the door every five minutes.

9. No one understands part 2

‘You’re an author. How nice!’ ‘I want to b author, but I don’t have the time.’ No one has the time. WE MAKE TIME.

10.Inspiration only strikes when you don’t have a pen/paper/laptop nearby.

Hence my need to lock myself in the toilets at work and madly scribble before the idea is gone!

11.It’s unsociable.

I am happy to be locked away all day typing. The problem with this is that it means you dont interact with many people.

12. Writer’s Block.

Nothing is more frustrating than a willing body by an unwilling mind. Staring at a blank screen is deeply depressing.

13.You hear voices in your head.

Not exactly, but characters have a habit of telling me what THEY want to do, not what I want them to do.

14.You have an amazing idea, but it’s already been done.

Self explanatory.

15. You miss the fad.

Angels have been done, hence my thousand rejection letters. I missed the craze by about six months. Grrrrrr.

16. Publishers want celebrities, not authors.

I must have hit my head at some point, as I thought AUTHORS wrote books. apparently not. Celebrities are the ones who do it now. Those people who have NO interest in writing a book, but are offered a large sum of money and a ghost writer.

17. Amazon is the devil.

I love Amazon as a shopper. As an author, I loathe it. They undercut every price for every book, demanding the lowest purchase price. That means less money for publishers etc i.e less for the author, you know, the person who spent four years working on it!

18.You will rarely be inspired when you actually have the time to write.

3am, can’t sleep, have a great idea! 4pm, sat at computer, no ideas.

19. Trolls!

The internet is spilling over with trolls. Be prepared to have your work hated if it does ever make it out into the world. They not th types to offer constructive criticism, just delightful comments such as ‘You suck!’ or ‘Go and kill yourself’ (I have heard of an author being told to go do this!)

20. The internet.

It’s great for research, but I spend precious hours on that I should be spending on editing and writing. Damn you 9gag and Smosh!


10 comments on “Reasons NOT to be author

  • I can identify with every one of those comments – it’s good to know I’m not alone. So why do we carry on beating our heads against a brick wall? i think in my case it’s to get the voices to shut up – at least for a while. I love the process of creating the stories but hate the constant slog of promoting. It’s a necessary evil for a self publisher but it’s still soul destroying.

    • ;p These are the things I do when I SHOULD be writing or editing lol. My friend’s husband has just told me he wants to be an author, and I’m trying to get him to realise what is involved. People (myself included when I started) think that you write a book, and publishers will be fighting over your manuscript. When in actual fact their response is ‘meh’ x

  • You’re right but the point here is to write for yourself. I’m sure that sooner or later, someone will believe in you. Also, forget about the publishers, thanks to the internet they’re are becoming as a t-rex about to be extinguished by a comet – they’re no longer needed.

    Anyway, remember that these voices have to come out in some way and it is best to give them freedom with words.

    By the way, love your post!

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